Know your symptoms: Stroke

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Know your symptoms: Stroke

When a stroke occurs, it means the brain isn’t getting the amount of blood it needs to function properly. Immediate treatment can lower the chances of developing brain damage, a disability or even dying.

That’s why it’s important to know the warning signs of a stroke.

Experts at House Call Doctor say the best way to check if you or someone else is having a stroke is the FAST test.

Face: Smile and see if the face droops on one side.

Arms: Is it possible to lift both arms without one dropping?

Speech: Is it possible to speak a short phrase without strange speech or slurring?

Time: If you or someone else has all these symptoms, call 000 immediately and write down when the symptoms started.

Timing right down to the last second matters when treating a stroke. Driving someone to the hospital or trying to drive yourself is a waste of precious time.

Experts say calling an ambulance is vital, allowing paramedics to assess the symptoms, and give the patient the correct treatment within a faster time frame.

Warning symptoms

While most strokes happen slowly, you can also suffer more sudden symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Vision problems in one or both eyes
  • Dizziness
  • A numb or weak feeling in your leg, face or arm, more specifically on one side.
  • Trouble walking or keeping your balance
  • A severe headache which has come on for no reason
  • Trouble understanding others
  • Overall fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hallucinating

A stroke is always considered a medical emergency, as it means there isn’t enough blood flowing to the brain. Once blood flow stops, the brain begins to die, affecting the entire body.

There are three types of strokes:

  • Ischemic stroke: A blockage in the artery
  • Haemorrhagic stroke: A blood vessel has ruptured
  • Mini stroke or transient ischemic attack: A temporary blockage in the artery. Although they don’t cause permanent damage, mini strokes can increase the chance of a stroke

Remember if symptoms of a stroke occur to think F.A.S.T and act FAST. The more time that elapses before a stroke is treated, the higher the risk of permanent brain damage.

Anita Begay

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